RE: Baseline Skillset for Technical Writers?

Subject: RE: Baseline Skillset for Technical Writers?
From: "Halter, Meg" <HalterMC -at- navair -dot- navy -dot- mil>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 16:08:00 -0800

Amen. Regardless of the specific industry we are writing about, this is
important for several reasons.

- We should know our tools so that when they break we can deal with it. This
was true when we used typewriters (changing ribbons, handling jammed keys.
cleaning the keys.). This was true for quill pens (sharpening them, mixing
the ink [speculating here; I've never actually used a quill pen or made my
own ink. I'm not THAT old!) This is true for computers (recovering from
minor problems when I'm the only one around. changing ink cartridges. fixing
the damned figure numbering problem in Word)

- Dinking around with the computer hardware and software creates comfort
with technology. And the more we do this, the more comfortable we become.
Actually, it's probably not a bad idea to tackle a variety of technologies
(changing the oil in your car. sharpening the lawnmower blades. whatever.)
because a breadth of experience increases comfort.

- When technical types see that we are able to do these things, they will be
more inclined to think we will understand the subject being discussed, even
if it isn't related to the computer because this capability indicates a
mindset that is comfortable with technology.

Just my newbie 2 cents at the end of a long and tiring week.

-- Meg

> -----Original Message-----
>
> The ability to take their computer apart to the boards and put the parts
> back together again. Seriously. I am working on an article right now about
> the fact that for the several years (4?) I have been teaching Frame and
> RoboHELP, 20% of my students cannot create a directory and copy the
> contents
> of a floppy to the directory. They have to be helped. And these are
> professionals who work in the field and want to get the Frame and RoboHELP
> skills.
>
> Small wonder so many of us have a hard time getting respect. How can we be
> taken seriously when 20% of us cannot do this simple task? This is the
> tool
> that we spend 40 or more hours a week with. We should know how to use it.
>
>
> sharon




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